Santa Barbara, California

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It seems like the timing wasn’t quite right for me to work in Hong Kong, but I WILL be back. Visa sponsorship seems to be an issue since I don’t yet have any corporate finance experience from the US. On a positive note I have several interviews lined up in Santa Barbara, California. My flight leaves in 12 hours.

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I am by no means calling this a defeat, especially since my original goal was simply to live in a foreign country for at least one month while studying the language and soaking in the culture. I’ve accomplished this three times over and the only bad thing to happen was the loss of my beloved iPhone 5s (luckily I backed up all photos, videos, and contact information to my laptop).

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This was a very interesting time of year to visit Hong Kong. The weather was perfect but October, November, and December are the slowest months for hiring due to the 13 month pay cycle. According to the recruiters and employers whom I interviewed with, companies pay sizable bonuses at the end of the year. These bonuses keep turnover and hiring rates low until the end of Chinese New Year.

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While jobs seemed scarce, celebrations here were plentiful! Never in my life have I attended so many parties in such a short amount of time. Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and many casual lunch or dinner meetings, I was able to meet some incredible people from all over the world and build lasting relationships.

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I wouldn’t trade these past three months for anything. Right now I am working on organizing my thoughts and videos from this journey. I hope to share them with you all soon.

Because I Can

During my final week as a bartender here in Destin, Florida I have been mentioning to my guests that I will be headed to Santa Barbara, California for a week followed by a journey to Hong Kong for 35 days. With very few exceptions the immediate response has been “Hong Kong?!? WHY?”

Here is my response.

First off I have always been intrigued by Asian culture, it just seemed SO different from the world I know. Not different in a bad way, or a good way, just different. In school I planned a hypothetical trip to Japan for an 8th grade geography class which included researching plane tickets, budgeting, and constructing an itinerary. In high school I can remember creating several powerpoint presentations on China.

Second, as a finance major and entrepreneur with an interest in international real estate and negotiations, it just made sense to checkout one of the world’s leading international financial hubs with one of the most frequently traded currencies in the world.

Finally, I stumbled upon Anthony Bourdain’s Layover episode where he visits Hong Kong and it blew my MIND. The food looks amazing, the people look diverse and friendly, and the scenery seems just as fascinating! Not to mention the convenience of not needing a special visa to enter, and much of the local population speaks English!

So…yeah, that’s why.

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